Hiddenness & Manifestion #1
One of my favorite authors and speakers concerning matters of the Kingdom of God is Graham Cooke. I was reading recently in his book Hiddeness & Manifestation and what he said spoke to me in a very deep and meaningful way. He said, “Manifestation is a time of blessing; hiddenness is a time of building. God desires to bring you through seasons of hiddenness because He wants you to learn the discipline of walking by the Spirit.” As a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father and a leader, I often find it difficult to balance the public demands made upon my life with the desires to be hidden and private regarding my journey with Jesus. For those who may be wondering, I do believe in a public expression of my faith and walk in obedience to Jesus’ command to share the gospel and disciple people. The privacy I speak of concerns those times when you feel like you are in a wilderness. Life seems unstable. You are unsure about the seasons of living you are in. What once made sense and was clear, suddenly no longer makes sense and seems very unclear.
I enjoy being a follower of Jesus. It is the greatest life I could imagine. However, the joy I find in following Jesus has to do with the awakening of my heart. He has opened my eyes to the truth that I am a son of God. I am not an orphan. I am not a sinner alone. I am not a broken and discarded soul. I am a man, deeply aware of my own depravity, and yet equally aware of how God sees me...as one of His kids. This truth is the greatest discovery. So, in this context, when I speak of hiddenness I am speaking of the private conversations I have with God and the inner working of His spirit in my heart, my mind and my spirit.
Hiddenness and Manifestation is not an either/or proposition. It is a both/and proposition. We walk, continually, in relationship with God and in so doing walk through different seasons. Some of those seasons are grey and wintery. They are cold. The sun is distant. We have light, but not it’s warmth. We see trees, but no color, only barren branches. Some seasons are like the spring time. Joy is alive again in our soul. As the flower that once appeared dead blossoms again, so blossoms the human spirit. Faith and Hope are governing again our worldview. As nature grows, and comes from it’s winters sleep, so the human spirit awakens to promise and potential. Again, maybe our journey with God looks and feels like summer. I live in Texas and we are known for very hot summers. God is also known for turning up the heat and refining our heart. The negativity that was hidden under the heavy cold of seasons gone by, suddenly comes to the surface of our heart, but only under the flame of God’s mercy and love. We sweat. We work. We attempt to stay cool. It seems impossible in the heated days of summer. Summer also represents relaxation, fun and rest. God, in His wisdom, takes us into times and seasons where the emphasis of His work upon us teaches us to rest in Him, have fun and lavish in the love we receive from friends and family. And, yes, finally there is fall. Those vibrant colors begin to turn to their annual shade of vibrant orange, autumn reds, golden yellows and humble browns. The grass doesn’t grow as fast. The birds don’t sing as loud. Nature is making it’s slow stroll into the quiet and lonely season of winter. I have experienced this season in God. I knew things that were profitable before, are profitable no longer. What once brought me joy and pleasure suddenly feels like laborious work with not return of something good. I realize I have entered into a Fall season. The colors are changing. I must adapt and change.
The seasons of life that we live in are simply understood expressions for how God interacts with humanity. You may be in a Spring and Summer season of manifestation, or you may be in a Fall and Winter season of hiddeness. Regardless of where you may be, He is blessing you and He is building you.
The seasons of the human heart are not always in sync with the natural weather patterns and seasons of the earth, but it’s imperative that you know what season you are in so you can give yourself fully to it. Building is good. The bible tells us, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The bible also teaches us, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Enjoy your season. In doing so, you are growing and maturing in your relationship with God.